Infested hardwood flooring (how to prevent re-infestation)


Old 03-18-12, 04:07 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
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Infested hardwood flooring (how to prevent re-infestation)


Have a cherry (I think) solid 1/2 inch high X 2 1/4 inch wide plank, hardwood floor on second level (above grade) of a 25 yo house, which is probably the original one and was put in during house construction. The hardwood floor has visible signs of infestation which are concentrated in few major areas, with numerous "exit holes" about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch in diameter as well as chewed off wood (please see attached pictures).

"This is the largest visible infestation area (all others are much smaller than this)."

Hardwood floor (from one side) is adjacent to 2 patio doors that are also probably original (25 yo as well) and leaky. Any time there is a signifant rain / snow water leakes through the patio doors and needs to be wiped off from the hardwood floor, also penetrating below the hardwood floor into the subfloor as evidenced by the hardwood floor cupping in several places. Also, lifting 2 registers very close to the patio doors (which allows seeing the inside of the floor) shows the bottom of hardwood floor having visible water damage.

"Cupping and infestation"

The problem has deterioted slowly over the last 9 years, so I am pretty sure these are not termites (as otherwise the entire house would have probably collapsed by now), but rather some wood bug / beetle of some sort. Local fumigation was done last year, which was not effective as the number of "exit holes" and chewn off areas has increased since then.

"Infestation under the carpet"

The hardwood floor and the 2 patio doors are old and need replacement anyways. Having done research online I think that I'll go with either classic or wood (top 1/6 of an inch is real wood, everything below is high temperature wood composite) laminate as replacement and not solid hardwood, specifically given the infestation history and the fact that laminate flooring
is specifically engineered against infestation to prevent re-infestation (just in case some eggs still remain in the house after the removal of the hardwood floors).

I have few questions pertaining to this that I would very much appreciate feedback on :

1. What kind of bug / beetle is this exactly ?

2. After I remove all of the currently infested hardwood floor :

a. should the entire (or some parts of it) subfloor be replaced ?
If yes, should I pre-treat the new subfloor with any special chemical, and which one I should use for this particular infestation ? If not, (and assuming all or part of the subfloor are in decent shape without any water damage), is it sufficient to just treat the subfloor with the chemical (and which one I should use for this particular infestation) to ensure that all eggs (if any) in it are dead ?

b. should I also treat all of the walls, trim, etc. with the same chemical ?

c. There is a stairwell completely covered with carpet, going to the third level with wooden hand-rails whose base and carpet are sitting on the hardwood (very close to one of its infested areas). As far as I can say the wooden hand-rails have not been infested with this. Should the wooden hand-rails and carpet be treated with a chemical ? If yes, which one ? Should the carpet be replaced and subfloor below it treated with the chemical to ensure that all eggs (if any) in it are dead ?

d. There is other wooden furniture in the room (sofas, table, tv stand, dining table and chairs, etc.) which as far as I can say have not been infested with this. Should they also be treated ? If yes, with what chemical ?

3. Any specific recommendations on the type of classic or wood laminate to install to prevent the re-infestation ?

4. Before I install the new classic or wood laminate (instead of the old infested hardwood) should I pre-treat it with any chemical to prevent re-infestation ? If yes, which one ?

5. After I remove 2 patio doors, should I treat the door jambs, any visible insulation, etc. with any chemical ? If yes, which one.

6. The 2 new patio doors I'd like to install have aluminum clad on the outside and wood (probably pine) on the inside (which is untreated, but the manufacturer includes a kit for treating and finishing it). Is there any additional chemical that I have to pre-treat the door
with to prevent re-infestation ? If yes, which one ?

Last edited by diyer_12; 03-18-12 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 03-18-12, 06:29 PM
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They resemble chestnut borers, and it appears they came from the top. You will never be sure and you won't be able to tell the total extent of damage until all the floor is removed. Then, judging from what the subfloor looks like, you can either re lay flooring or tear up the subflooring and keep on going. Have you been under the house to see if there is any infestation on the underside of the subflooring or on the joists? Before you go and treat all the wood in your house, determine where they came from and treat the ground at that point. Treating your wood with chemicals will eek out the chemicals for years, and the smell will be unbearable for a very long time. First things first. Take an area of flooring up, probably the worst damaged area and see what's under it. Let us know and post pix so we can see your progress.
Old 03-18-12, 06:51 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
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>>Take an area of flooring up, probably the worst damaged area
>>and see what's under it.
Thanks for the advice. I'll keep you posted about the progress.

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